Where can I go on holiday?

·3-min read

International leisure travel from Britain resumed this week, but holidaymakers face being confused by the rules and guidance on where they can go.

Here the PA news agency answers 11 key questions on the situation:

A small number of locations are on the green list for leisure travel (Rui Vieira/PA)
A small number of locations are on the green list for leisure travel (Rui Vieira/PA)

– What are the travel lists?

The Government has brought in a risk-based “traffic light” system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world. The ratings determine the quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements people face when returning to Britain.

– What do they mean?

People returning from green destinations do not need to quarantine, but those arriving from an amber location must self-isolate at home for 10 days.

Arrivals from a red tier country must enter a quarantine hotel.

– What countries are on the lists?

The green list is limited to 12 countries and territories, with Portugal the only viable major tourist destination.

Most popular holiday locations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are on the amber list.

– So I can visit an amber country as long as I quarantine at home when I get back?

Leisure travel is legally permitted from Britain to countries on the amber list.

But Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday that people should only travel to an amber destination “for some extreme circumstance, such as the serious illness of a family member”.

He added: “You should not be going to an amber list country on holiday.”

Entry to Australia, which is on the green list, is severely restricted (Bob Martin for SailGP/PA)
Entry to Australia, which is on the green list, is severely restricted (Bob Martin for SailGP/PA)

– What have his ministers been saying?

Two Cabinet ministers appeared to offer a view on the situation.

Environment Secretary George Eustice told broadcasters people could go to amber-listed countries as long as they observed quarantine rules on their return.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart told Times Radio the public should ask themselves whether a trip to a country on the amber list was “essential”, before conceding that “some people might think a holiday is essential”.

– If I cancel my trip because of the Prime Minister’s guidance, will I get a refund?

Consumer group Which? is warning that most travel companies are refusing refunds unless they cancel a customer’s holiday.

– Can I book a trip to amber locations?

Although online travel firm On the Beach has stopped selling summer holidays due to a lack of “certainty or clarity”, many companies are selling and operating trips to amber countries.

– What is the European Union’s policy towards UK holidaymakers?

EU ambassadors backed plans to allow fully vaccinated holidaymakers – including those from the UK – to make non-essential visits to the bloc this summer.

The policy will need to be formally signed off by ministers of member states.

People fly to Portugal
A handful of EU countries, such as Portugal, have broken ranks by already welcoming UK tourists (PA)

– So tourists who have not had the jab will be excluded?

A decision on whether to add the UK and other countries to the EU’s “safe list” will be made on Friday.

Travellers from locations on the list are permitted to enter the bloc even if they are not vaccinated, but are generally required to show evidence of a recent negative test.

– But I thought lots of people went to Portugal on Monday?

A handful of EU countries, such as Portugal and Greece, have broken ranks by already welcoming UK tourists.

– What is the situation for people in Northern Ireland?

In Northern Ireland, journeys to the Common Travel Area – which consists of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man – for visits to family and friends are expected to be allowed from Monday, but no decision has been made on the resumption of leisure travel to other locations.